Markets gloomy on Oracle, will 'cloudy' news next week help?

A day after reporting fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations but sales that didn’t, Oracle is seeing its shares sink. The Merc’s Steve Johnson reported that a mere 1 percent rise in new software licenses has analysts concerned. And it was the second quarter in a row of flat revenue growth for the Redwood City company as it deals with increased competition in selling software as a service.

Mark Hurd, Oracle co-president, reportedly touted 500 new customers of the company’s cloud offerings in the quarter. Hurd also referred to upcoming “startling” cloud-related announcements that involve rivals Microsoft and Salesforce.com. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will join Hurd during a Monday teleconference, according to an email invitation to the media.

Oracle’s hardware business — a product of its 2010 purchase of Sun Microsystems — continues to worry analysts, too. Hardware-systems product sales fell 13 percent in the quarter. “Seems to us that Oracle’s decision to go the hardware route is not working,” said Trip Chowdry, analyst for Global Equities Research.

Oracle, a longtime fixture on the Nasdaq, also has filed to trade on the New York Stock Exchange starting July 15. The NYSE says it would be the biggest transfer by market cap: Oracle’s is $156.4 billion. The NYSE also reminds people that Oracle is the fourth company to move from the Nasdaq this year. But the New York Times’ DealBook points out that eight companies defected from the NYSE to the Nasdaq this year, despite the tech-heavy exchange taking a hit to its reputation after its poor handling of the Facebook IPO last year.

Oracle shares are down nearly 9 percent to $30.31 as of this post, down more than 16 percent from their 52-week closing high of $36.34, which they reached in March.

 

Reuters photo

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (3590 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also blogs and is the online producer for SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).